A couple of years ago, one couldn’t go to a stylish restaurant without hearing something about kale. Kale had turned into the Beyoncé of leafy greens. Either it was on special or somebody insisted it should replace the spinach in their salad.
In the grocery store, there used to be kale chips, kale snacks, kale packaged salads, kale juices and smoothies.
The trendiness may have perturbed you. But was there some good reason that all of this got started?
Was calling kale a “superfood” just an advertising gimmick to help grocery stores move their produce? Or is it actually unhealthy, like the low-fat diets they promoted in the 1980s?
This is far from the truth. It turns out that kale became popular because it benefits the body.
Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals, from a megadose of vitamin K to 8 percent of the crucial mineral potassium in a one-cup serving. Fortunately, the cup provides only 40 calories, 16 of which come interestingly from protein.
Kale is a rich source of sulfur, the third most abundant mineral found in the human body. Sulfur is necessary for the production of insulin to control blood sugar. It also improves blood vessel health.
But what’s really interesting is the number of less well-known micronutrients these blue-green leaves provide.
So far, about 45 different flavonoids have been identified in kale. Flavonoids are plant pigments that are thought to suppress allergic reactions, inflammation, bacteria, and cardiovascular problems.
The glucosinolate that gives kale its distinctive snappy flavor can kill off cancer cells, and the lutein in the leaves is essential to eye health.
Kale contains so much cleansing, healing chlorophyll that it remains green to the eye despite being filled with the cancer-killing carotenoids that usually give vegetables a red or orange color.
Raw kale might turn you off; it can be extremely fibrous and hard to chew and swallow. But a tiny bit of work takes care of that.
Chopped fine with a good kitchen knife and dressed in oil and vinegar, it can make a fluffy bed for salads that won’t wilt in a few minutes the way lettuce does. Whirl it in a food processor for an even softer salad base.
Wilt it with bacon grease for an exciting variation on the wilted spinach salad.
Kale also lowers blood cholesterol. In addition, it has recently been discovered that if you steam kale to break down the fibers, it does an even better job of lowering your blood cholesterol than usual.
Put your kale through a juicer and slurp down an instant megadose of micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals – without all the calories most sugary fruits and vegetables yield when juiced.
Unlike a fruit smoothie, juiced kale is genuinely healthy in nearly every way possible. You are losing fiber. But since there’s very little sugar, the missing roughage isn’t quite as big of a problem as when you’re juicing carrots. So, keep at the kale, whatever the fashion.
Of course, kale should be part of a balanced healthy diet – it certainly is not the only vegetable you need to eat.
Round out your diet with red, yellow, pink, and white fruits and vegetables, berries and lots of healthy fats, plus whole grains and protein.
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I will be adding other research information about kale. Please check this article later on.